OptiEnz Sensors, LLC, is a biotech company that produces innovative biosensors for continuously measuring organic chemical concentrations in aqueous solutions. The technology is based on fundamental research on enzymatic sensor tips by the company’s founder and CTO, Dr. Ken Reardon. Dr. Reardon, a professor and researcher at Colorado State University (CSU), recognized a significant need for a device that could measure the concentration of chemical contaminants in food and water—a device that could take these measurements rapidly, accurately, and inexpensively. Although traditional laboratory sampling methods can yield very accurate measurements, they are also complex, time-intensive, expensive, and—most importantly—they do not provide continuous in-place measurements. Building on his years of research experience in biosensor technology and bioremediation, Dr. Reardon decided to combine his knowledge of biosensors and bacterial enzymes to produce a better tool for measuring chemical fermentations and focused the company on bioprocess monitoring.
In 2010, working in tandem with Colorado State University’s tech transfer, CSU Ventures, Dr. Reardon spun-out OptiEnz Sensors, LLC, to develop, manufacture, and sell the biosensors. The company has identified over 50 candidate organic chemicals and has constructed and tested sensors for 20 different organic chemicals including alcohols, sugars, hydrocarbons, and solvents. The company is engaged in product sales in the biotech and beverage industries, as well as trials and sponsored development projects with customers,